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Term 2 Book Review

The most interesting book I read in term two was a book called Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell, which was basically six loosely related stories set in different time periods. Basically the book is told like a Russian nesting doll where five of the story are left hanging halfway at a cliffhanger, then the six story is told in full and then the other five stories are continued in reverse order they were told in, so 1,2,3,4,5,6,5,4,3,2,1. Each story has some kind of trace (for example a document or statue) that came from the previous story.
The first story is called The Pacific Journal of Adam Ewing which is about some kind of lawyer who is at sea. The story begins in 1850 in the Chatham Islands. He finds a Moriori stowaway in his cabin while travelling and also catches a parasite.
The second story is called Letters from Zedelghem. Told in form of letters from a musician to their lover Rufus Sixsmith in 1931. They are hired to become an Amanuensis for a famous composer Vyvyan Ayrs (which is someone employed to write or copy what someone else says, so in this case to copy down the composition from Ayrs) who is dying from syphilis and cannot see.
The third story is called Half Lives: The First Luisa Rey Mystery. It is set in 1975 California and is written like a thriller/mystery novel. Luisa Rey, a journalist meets Rufus Sixsmith in a stalled elevator and he discusses his concern that a Nuclear Plant is not safe.
The fourth story is called The Ghastly Ordeal Of Timothy Cavendish, which is written in more of a comedic tone and set in modern day London. where Timothy Cavendish, a 65-year-old publisher, flees the brothers of his gangster client, whose book is experiencing high sales after the murder of a book critic. They threaten him if he doesn't give them the money they were promised. Timothy's brother books him into a menacing nursing home and Timothy signs custody papers thinking that he is registering into a hotel, where he can stay until his personal and financial problems can be solved.
The fifth story is called An Orison of Sonmi~451, set in a dystopian Corporate driven Korea. It's told through an interview through a fabricant waitress named Sonmi~451 and an Archivist after her arrest. Clones grown in vats are the predominate source of cheap labor.
The sixth story is called Sloosha's Crossin' an' Ev'rythin' After. An old man named Zachry, tells a story from his youth in an imagined English dialect. It is set in Big Island in Hawaii in the post apocalyptic far future after "the fall of civilization" which sent technology into primitivism. His people, called "The Valley Folk" are occasionally invaded by the cannibalistic "Kona" tribe and worship a goddess Sonmi. Big Island is occasionally visited and studied by a technologically sophisticated people known as the Prescients, whereof a woman called Meronym, who has come to learn their ways, is assigned to live with Zachry's family.
Although my synopsis of the stories make the book sound incredibly boring, I genuinely love this book and think it is an amazing book because it is very unique and interesting.


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